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Quarter of asset managers ‘moving staff because of Brexit’

A quarter of the asset management businesses monitored by accounting giant EY have now announced plans to move operations to Europe due to Brexit.


Of the 52 asset managers monitored by the firm 12 have now stated intentions to make staff or operational changes as the UK prepares to leave the European Union, representing 23%.

The figure compares to 21% of firms in investment banking stating plans to move and 27% of insurance businesses.

However, there are more than 200 firms in UK asset management so EY’s figures may indicate moving intentions only for the larger businesses.

Favoured locations for asset managers with multi-national distribution are known to include the low-tax centres of Luxembourg and Dublin.

As part of its EY Brexit Tracker the firm also said that firms voicing plans to move staff to Europe remain in the minority.

It said there has been a 50% uptick in the number of firms making public plans compared to four months ago.

Omar Ali, UK financial services leader for EY, said: “The number of financial institutions who are publicly committing to concrete action in response to Brexit has increased, but it’s still a minority and is driven by the tight timetable rather than politics.

“The more complex the organisation, the longer it is going to take to create workable contingency options, and so investment banks in particular are putting their plans on record.

“Notably though, the majority of firms are maintaining their commitment to the UK, and still talking about moving only the resources necessary to maintain a smooth service for their clients. The variety of locations firms are selecting only confirms the fact that the UK’s financial ecosystem is unique and very hard to replicate in other European jurisdictions.”